4 Simple Methods to Getting Your First Pull-Ups in a Matter of Weeks!
Lets be real people. One major barrier to getting started with calisthenics is not that: you don’t have time, you don’t have the energy, or it’s too boring. The major problem with functional fitness is that “it is too hard!”
I mean this literally, do a pushup is too hard for many people. Doing a pull-up is damn near impossible. I recently saw a guy at the gym who is always on the treadmill. One day he decided to try pull-ups. He got on the pull-up bar and couldn’t do one. Then he got back on the treadmill and kept running.
Believe it or not, that used to be me. I could squat over 500 lbs with relative ease and bench over 400 but I weighed 270 lbs and couldn’t do one pull-up. So I avoided doing what I was weak at. Moreover, when I did try to do pull-ups, I didn’t understand how to build up to a level of basic competence with the movement. So after deciding to develope my pull-up, I floundered for almost a decade. After years of research and talking to calisthenics and body weight experts, I eventually learned that traditional physical education has never taught the mainstream public how to develop REAL functional strength.
The mainstream methodologies for developing a pull up are archaic and primitive. What if I told you that you could develop pull up strength fast, even if you were 50 years old and never did a pull up in your life.
So I’m going to introduce you to 4 concepts:
Opposing Muscle Groups
For many of us, myself included, being able to do one pull up was merely a wish for much of our lives. However, I did find a method to developing the necessary strength needed for the pull up. My strength goal of being able to do pull-ups was now more than a wish. It was a feasible objective. My plan made it possible for me and it can be feasible for you.
In 1976, a hungarian scientist named Nikolai Jakowlew came up with a theory that became a principle of modern athletic training. Supercompensation was coined and it referred to the stages of strength training. The 4 stages are: initial fitness, training, recovery and supercompensation. The initial fitness stage refers to the level of conditioning that the body is in. During training, the level of fitness begins to decline as the muscular output begins to decline. After a certain amount of muscular decline, the person gives the muscles an opportunity to recover from the trauma of training. It is at this point that recovery occurs. However, the muscle recovers to a point that surpasses the initial stage of fitness. The point at which the muscle surpasses initial fitness is supercompensation. That being said, if you were to repeatedly induce supercompensation you could continually grow muscle size and strength.
When attempting to do your first pull ups you may find that your body does not posses the strength to lift your own weight. For many people this can be an insurmountable barrier. That being said, there is no reason to let this stop you. Negative repetitions can be the key to you moving forward with your progress.
Negative reps are simple to do. Get your chin up and over the bar and slowly drop your body down to a dead hang. The lowering of the body should last from 3 to 5 seconds per rep. Later on I will give you a workout routine that incorporates negative repetitions in an appropriate manner.
During this workout routine you should keep the rest intervals down to 60 seconds. You want to challenge your cardiovascular system and your muscle’s ability to recover after each set. Moreover, when recovery time is limited you may be forced to drop the weight to maintain the rep range. Maintaining rep ranges is more important than maintaining the weight or level of resistance.
Opposing Muscle Groups
It is always important to train the opposing muscle group. By training the opposing muscle group you avoid muscular injury and and muscular imbalances. So, if you work pull ups you must also adequately train push ups and vice versa.
Static Chin Up: 3 x 15 reps
Chin Up Negatives: 3 x 15 reps
Assisted Pull Ups (overhand grip): 3 x 15 reps
Assisted Chin Ups (underhand grip): 3 x 15 reps
Push Ups: 3 x 15 reps
Static Chin Up: 3 x 10 reps
Chin Up Negatives: 3 x 10 reps
Assisted Pull Ups (overhand grip): 3 x 10 reps
Assisted Chin Ups (underhand grip): 3 x 10 reps
Push Ups: 3 x 10 reps
Static Chin Up: 4 x 8 reps
Chin Up Negatives: 4 x 8 reps
Assisted Pull Ups (overhand grip): 4 x 8 reps
Assisted Chin Ups (underhand grip): 4 x 8 reps
Push Ups: 4 x 8 reps
Static Chin Up: 5 x 6 reps
Chin Up Negatives: 5 x 6 reps
Assisted Pull Ups (overhand grip): 5 x 25 reps
Assisted Chin Ups (underhand grip): 5 x 25 reps
Push Ups: 5 x 6 reps
Static Chin Up: 10 x 3 reps
Chin Up Negatives: 10 x 3 reps
Assisted Pull Ups (overhand grip): 50 reps
Assisted Chin Ups (underhand grip): 50 reps
Push Ups: 10 x 3 reps
If you are having trouble finishing up the reps, lower the resistance. Try to do this for 1.5 months, you should get great results. Be consistent by working out every day as long as you do not over-train.